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Old 01-19-18, 02:02 AM   #1
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Is there even an audience for new rock anymore?

I'm starting to doubt it after hearing numerous quality indie bands and watching them freefall further into oblivion. I also know a lot of people enthusiastic about new music, but most of them are looking for some singer/songwriter or vocalist niche, rock seems to hit them like it's a harsh remnant of another age.

I'm afraid to say I'm pretty certain that if a new band came around as good as the Stones or Who, I doubt it would even get much traction with the tastes of the music buying public these days.

Last edited by HarryJS; 03-08-18 at 12:33 AM.
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Old 01-19-18, 12:49 PM   #2
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Re: Is there even an audience for new rock anymore?

At one point Jazz ruled the pop world. Now it's a small, niche market.

Rock had its moment. That moment has passed. But as long as good music is being produced and promoted, it will find an audience somewhere.
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Old 01-20-18, 06:32 AM   #3
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Re: Is there even an audience for new rock anymore?

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Rock had its moment.
It's not going down without a fight. The geezers anyway. Here locally they've announced in the last two days, Journey/Def Lepard at a 16,000 seat arena, and Billy Joel doing two outdoor shows 40,000 tickets each.
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Old 01-20-18, 08:14 AM   #4
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Re: Is there even an audience for new rock anymore?

It's a dying genre.

The "kids" have little to no interest in it. They're all into country, hip-hop, or generic pop. There are outliers, but, by and large, the younger you are, the less interest you have in rock and its various genres (punk, metal, etc).

The median age of the people attending that Def Leppard/Journey tour is probably going to be fifty.
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Old 01-20-18, 11:30 AM   #5
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Re: Is there even an audience for new rock anymore?

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Originally Posted by rw2516 View Post
It's not going down without a fight. The geezers anyway. Here locally they've announced in the last two days, Journey/Def Lepard at a 16,000 seat arena, and Billy Joel doing two outdoor shows 40,000 tickets each.
Wasn't the OP question about "new rock".

For me I guess my counter question is; what is new rock and how do we gauge if they have a big enough audience or not? I certainly have discovered some new rock bands that started recording in the last 10 years or so. What I don't know is if they fall into the category or if they are popular enough to count as having a large enough audience.
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Old 01-20-18, 11:50 AM   #6
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Re: Is there even an audience for new rock anymore?

Only if they have stellar music and/or a gimmick. I think of bands like Ghost with their doom metal and theatrical antics and think that we need more bands like that. I care about presentation just as much as I do the music. I want to be transported.
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Old 01-20-18, 12:11 PM   #7
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Re: Is there even an audience for new rock anymore?

We only have two rock stations here in town, one is classic, the other is billed as today’s rock. The modern rock station relies too heavily on classic rock. It was my music of my early twenties not so much anymore. I only follow Alterbridge, and I like all the music Myles Kennedy has done with Slash.
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Old 01-20-18, 12:26 PM   #8
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Re: Is there even an audience for new rock anymore?

I think music genres like a lot of things goes in cycles. Maybe itíll be less popular for a while but will eventually come back. It just takes the right band and song to catch on with the mainstream audience. I think a lot of the good rock now days is from bands that have been around for a while. Then again Iíve fallen out of a lot of new music so what do I know.
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Old 01-20-18, 01:55 PM   #9
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Re: Is there even an audience for new rock anymore?

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Originally Posted by HarryJS View Post
I'm afraid to say I'm pretty certain that if a new band came around as good as the Stones or Who, I doubt it would even get much traction with the tastes of the music buying public these days.
In a way, that's progress, though.

Different medium, I know, but we'll almost certainly never again see a TV show with the seismic impact of, say, M.A.S.H., with literally 125 million people tuning in for the finale. There are too many channels, too many compelling options for programming, and forms of entertainment that either didn't exist or would've been completely unrecognizable 35 years ago for anything to so utterly dominate the zeitgeist like that.

It's sort of the same story with music. Radio isn't a gatekeeper the way it once was. Same for MTV, it goes without saying. Bands don't need a label. Hell, they don't even necessarily need a proper studio anymore. Because of the...democratization of music recording/distribution and bands being more willing/able to shoulder more of the business side of the industry themselves, any band with the drive can record an album, get it on all the digital platforms, line up their own tour, etc. Because the same few music magazines, the same couple music channels, and the same handful of radio stations in town have so much less influence than they once did, you as a listener have a borderline-unlimited number of acts to discover. There is more out there catering to your specific interests, no matter what they are, than anyone could ever have imagined even just a few decades ago, and it's all just a couple of clicks away.

...but the same as cable/satellite/streaming/home video making it all but impossible for a TV show to pull in tens of millions of viewers week in and week out, the revolutions in the way music is recorded, distributed, and marketed make it far, far, far more difficult for any one band to dominate the conversation.

I mean, that's getting away from the whole "rock is not the juggernaut it once was" discussion, but I do think that's a large part of the answer to "where's this generation's Stones?" There's no shortage of unbelievably amazing rock bands forming every year. It'll probably just take an active effort for you to discover them now rather than it being inescapable the way things used to be, and you'll probably see them in a club rather than a stadium/amphitheater.
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Old 01-20-18, 02:27 PM   #10
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Re: Is there even an audience for new rock anymore?

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The median age of the people attending that Def Leppard/Journey tour is probably going to be fifty.
Of course it will. Neither has been "relevant" for 20 years.

I'm considering going. I saw Def Lep a few years ago with Kiss and it was a good show. Journey is the classic line up except for Perry, and at least the ringer they have singing has been with the band long enough to count as a "real" member.

It may not be trendy, or groundbreaking, but it's fun, nothing more. That's good enough for me.
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Old 01-20-18, 02:38 PM   #11
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Re: Is there even an audience for new rock anymore?

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It's sort of the same story with music. Radio isn't a gatekeeper the way it once was. Same for MTV, it goes without saying. Bands don't need a label. Hell, they don't even necessarily need a proper studio anymore. Because of the...democratization of music recording/distribution and bands being more willing/able to shoulder more of the business side of the industry themselves, any band with the drive can record an album, get it on all the digital platforms, line up their own tour, etc. Because the same few music magazines, the same couple music channels, and the same handful of radio stations in town have so much less influence than they once did, you as a listener have a borderline-unlimited number of acts to discover. There is more out there catering to your specific interests, no matter what they are, than anyone could ever have imagined even just a few decades ago, and it's all just a couple of clicks away.
But they're never going to achieve any real success.

Look, I know I can spend a weekend sifting through endless groups on bandcamp looking for that one band that reaches out and grabs me by the short hairs. They may end up being the best thing I've ever heard. But it's unlikely they're going to a) be anywhere close enough for me to see, and b) be able to keep going long enough to have any sort of "career."

I like things that are popular. I like being in a huge arena crowd where 18,000 people all know the words and are singing along. I like the spectacle that comes with something like a Kiss show.

I did this type of thing for a while. Back around 2000 or so, I was constantly buying European power metal albums. Some of it was really good, but soooo much of it was just derivative. it was "right up my alley" but it all just blended together into nothing. For every Hammerfall or Dream Evil I bought there was a Headstone or The Storyteller. None of these bands toured the US and literally no one I associated with cared to share in my secret knowledge of "real" good music. I got bored with the eternal chase for perfection and drifted away from the whole scene.
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Old 01-20-18, 05:04 PM   #12
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Re: Is there even an audience for new rock anymore?

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But they're never going to achieve any real success.
If success is defined as playing stadiums/arenas and being around for a decade-plus, that wasn't a terribly realistic goal 25 years ago either. The likelihood is even smaller now, yeah, especially with other genres drawing so much interest, but the percentage rounded to somewhere close to 0% of bands pre-Internet too.

I wish that it were easier for bands to make a living entirely through their music. I wish album sales weren’t in the toilet. I also find it challenging at times to discover new music, and I generally do feel like I'm the only person I know who likes what I do. There are certainly a whole bunch of cons that come with the industry being upended the way it has. I do think that putting bands in the driver’s seat is preferable to labels, radio stations, MTV, etc. giving us a shortlist of bands we’re allowed to listen to (being slightly hyperbolic, yeah), even with the tradeoffs that come with that.
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Old 01-20-18, 07:03 PM   #13
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Re: Is there even an audience for new rock anymore?

I think the last "traditional" rock band that has had a huge following for a number of years and sold out 20,000+ seat stadiums is probably Nickelback - yes, cue the groans.

As others have said, there is just too many competing forms of amusement out there for anything to really bond a generation together.

When you tell someone "I remember cranking Skid Row in my '78 Trans-AM while cruising around in the summer of '89" there will be people of a certain age group that will instantly relate to that.

Today's youth? "I remember listening to "forgotten generic indie band" on one of the 5,000 stations available on SiriusFM. Wow! What great memories!"

No one else will relate.
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Old 01-20-18, 07:21 PM   #14
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Re: Is there even an audience for new rock anymore?

The Avett Brothers often play arenas when they tour now, and have a die-hard following.

Fall Out Boy are also a shed/arena act.
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Old 01-21-18, 11:06 AM   #15
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Re: Is there even an audience for new rock anymore?

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Fall Out Boy are also a shed/arena act.
If Fall Out Boy fits the definition, they are one of my favorite never bands. Listened to their latest, Mania, the other day and thought it was pretty solid.
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Old 01-21-18, 03:54 PM   #16
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Re: Is there even an audience for new rock anymore?

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If Fall Out Boy fits the definition, they are one of my favorite never bands.
They've been around for something like 17 years, and their first album came out in 2003.
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Old 01-21-18, 06:09 PM   #17
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Re: Is there even an audience for new rock anymore?

Puts on Led Zeppelin III to read the thread.
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Old 01-22-18, 12:10 AM   #18
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Re: Is there even an audience for new rock anymore?

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Originally Posted by Josh-da-man View Post
It's a dying genre.

The "kids" have little to no interest in it. They're all into country, hip-hop, or generic pop. There are outliers, but, by and large, the younger you are, the less interest you have in rock and its various genres (punk, metal, etc).

The median age of the people attending that Def Leppard/Journey tour is probably going to be fifty.
I've always wondered why popular music is considered popular by what kids like. What do kids know? Why doesn't it matter what music adults listen to? I actually think it should matter more.

I remember when Nirvana released In Utero & I saw what had to be a 10 year old girl walking down the street playing Heart Shaped Box on her boombox. I thought a little kid like that had no business listening to Nirvana. Granted, I was only around 17 at the time but u get the point.

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Old 01-22-18, 12:32 AM   #19
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Re: Is there even an audience for new rock anymore?

The thing with rock, that's not quite as prevalent in other music styles, and something that will keep it from "dying", is that it's fun to play, and not too difficult. Which means there will continue to be kids that start rock bands, and they will continue to have audiences, even if they shrink.
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Old 01-22-18, 01:03 AM   #20
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Re: Is there even an audience for new rock anymore?

Kids will always get into new Rock bands - if they get exposed to it.

Right now there are no outlets for those kids to hear new Rock bands without putting any effort into it. They aren't interested in searching out great new Rock bands - they just don't do that. So without MTV as a real music outlet, and without FM radio as an outlet for new Rock bands it's going to be really hard for a younger band to break through and get any kind of traction.

Rock has a cool factor that even Jazz didn't have, and as noted above, it's easier and more fun to play.

But the media side of things (radio & cable TV ) almost no one plays new Rock anymore. Why? Because the people in charge don't believe in it or like it.

The other thing, too, that should be addressed is this - it's getting harder and harder to write guitar riffs and vocal melodies that aren't almost exactly like 30 other songs. Now, kids won't know that a song is eerily similar to something from the 70's or 80's, so that wouldn't stop it from gaining fans, but the programmers may have gotten tired of the repetitive nature of Rock music and failed to support it because of that - who knows?

I think it's inevitable that there will be a breakthrough of some kind and a new generation of Rock bands will find success. But it won't be on the level of what it was from the 50's through the 90's. That peak era has come and gone. Rock will be an up and down thing, and it will, more often than not, be a niche market kind of thing, but it will be bigger than Jazz has been for the last 30 years. Maybe not a lot bigger, but bigger.
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Old 01-22-18, 08:43 AM   #21
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Re: Is there even an audience for new rock anymore?

"Rock" as we know it is pretty much a niche now.

I'm not even current on rock bands that are out there now, but it seems like Foo Fighters are the closest thing to a popular rock band now? And even with them, the music doesn't stay within the realm of traditional rock.

Personally, I've outgrown "rock" from growing up listening to classic rock. It just doesn't do anything for me anymore. The closest to "rock" that I listen to now is Wilco.
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Old 01-22-18, 09:37 AM   #22
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Re: Is there even an audience for new rock anymore?

Heck, "rock" is pretty easy to find if you have Spotify. I get new stuff I have never heard of delivered to me every week via the Discover and New Release playlists Spotify does for me.

Now, easy listening 70's love songs...that is the impossible stuff to find. Just a well written (some say sappy) modern day love song similar to England Dan & John Ford Coley, David Gates, Dan Fogelberg, etc. would be what I would like to find.

And sorry, but current country songs do not come close to taking the place of easy listening 70's so please don't suggest it.
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Old 01-22-18, 11:47 AM   #23
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Re: Is there even an audience for new rock anymore?

What is considered new rock? How old can a band be to be considered new rock?
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Old 01-22-18, 12:55 PM   #24
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Re: Is there even an audience for new rock anymore?

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What is considered new rock? How old can a band be to be considered new rock?
Exactly. When there are artists/bands from the 60s - 80s regularly putting out new material, for many (like me) it would be acceptable to categorize any band starting after the year 2000 as new rock. I can understand that anybody born after the year 2000 may disagree.
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Old 01-22-18, 03:14 PM   #25
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Re: Is there even an audience for new rock anymore?

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Rock has a cool factor that even Jazz didn't have
SO DISAGREE, I can't even begin

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and as noted above, it's easier and more fun to play.
AGREED. Especially on the easier part. I played guitar in a high school jazz band and eesh.
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